Introduction: Liver X receptors (LXRs) are nuclear receptors that function as cholesterol sensors and regulate cholesterol homeostasis. High cholesterol has been recognized as a risk factor in asthma; however, the mechanism of this linkage is not known. Methods: To explore the importance of cholesterol homeostasis for asthma, we investigated the contribution of LXR activity in an ovalbumin- and a house dust mite-driven eosinophilic asthma mouse model. Results: In both models, airway inflammation, airway hyper-reactivity, and goblet cell hyperplasia were reduced in mice deficient for both LXRα and LXRβ isoforms (LXRα–/– β–/–) as compared to wild-type mice. Inversely, treatment with the LXR agonist GW3965 showed increased eosinophilic airway inflammation. LXR activity contributed to airway inflammation through promotion of type 2 cytokine production as LXRα–/– β–/– mice showed strongly reduced protein levels of IL-5 and IL-13 in the lungs as well as reduced expression of these cytokines by CD4+ lung cells and lung-draining lymph node cells. In line herewith, LXR activation resulted in increased type 2 cytokine production by the lung-draining lymph node cells. Conclusions: In conclusion, our study demonstrates that the cholesterol regulator LXR acts as a positive regulator of eosinophilic asthma in mice, contributing to airway inflammation through regulation of type 2 cytokine production.
- Eosinophilic airway inflammation
- Liver X receptor
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy